Once again, this is Heather filling in. Let me know what you all thought of the episode this week and how you think the season in general is going!
The Moment: Oberyn visits Tyrion
Setting the Scene: Oberyn goes to visit Tyrion in his cell. He tells the story of meeting Tyrion as a baby then volunteers to be his champion.
Why It’s Awesome: Tyrion’s three visits in his jail cell all highlighted various relationships in his life. First was his relationship with his brother and his shared dislike of their father’s pressures. Then came Bronn, a loyal friend but not one stupid enough to die for him. Finally came someone who is most certainly not a friend to the Lannisters, but like Jaime and Bronn, capable of seeing Tyrion as a human rather than a monster.
Pedro Pascal and Peter Dinkledge are fantastic scene partners. Throughout the season, Pascal has shown himself to be a compelling presence on-screen and Dinkledge has always been celebrated for his work on the show, so putting them together in such a simple manner really allowed them to shine.
At its most basic reading, this scene exists to move Tyrion’s trial forward. He now has a champion to fight against The Mountain on his behalf. It also allows Oberyn to accomplish what he came to King’s Landing to do – get justice for his sister and her children.
It also allows us to catch a glimpse the life Tyrion has led through the eyes of an outsider. He grew up as the “monster of Casterly Rock” and as demonstrated by last week’s episode, it has worn on him. He recognizes that to most, he’s thought of as less than human and the tears in his eyes after Oberyn told him that he saw him as a baby, not a monster, the first time they met said more than words could have.
Like Tyrion, Oberyn has good reason to despise the Lannisters. They are responsible for the brutal murders of his sister and her children and that is a wound that Oberyn carries with him daily. While I do believe that he does feel some indignation at Tyrion’s treatment by Tywin and Cersei, he’s not the reason Oberyn volunteered to fight for him. He has patiently waited for the opportunity to get justice for Elia and he knows his chance is finally here.
He’s confident in his ability to defeat The Mountain, which will not only kill the monster directly responsible for the death of Elia and her children but Tyrion will be found innocent by his victory, therefore harming the monster (Tywin) he holds responsible for The Mountain’s actions. It is clear from all of his interactions with the Lannisters on this show, that he views Tywin (and Cersei to some extent) the true monsters in the family, not Tyrion, and the time has come for his revenge.
Honorable Mentions: Jaime visiting Tyrion, Bronn visiting Tyrion, Sansa watching the snow and being reminded of home
“It also allows us to catch a glimpse the life Tyrion has led through the eyes of an outsider.” – this! 100% this!
I think what makes this episode work so well is the sequence of the three visits (as a non-reader of the novels). We see Jamie, who loves Tyrion out of loyalty and pity. But his negotiation for Tyrion’s life is a compromise that is conditional. That sacrifice has limits both in Jamie’s physical limitations, but in his own self preservation. Bronn provides us the one person who in Tyrion’s universe has always been transparent. It is a friendship/loyalty of convenience. Regardless of how congenial and beneficial this relationship was built on ‘benefit add’. There is no upswing for Bronn to stand beside Tyrion at this point. What makes the scene work is because it is in keeping with his character and with the realities of Kings Landing as well as the Game of Thrones. What sets Bronn apart is that he doesn’t simply abandon Tyrion, he faces him transparently and honestly. As a viewer we may want Bronn to act in noble fashion, but that would be completely removed from his character. The fact is Bronn is the perfect dichotomy for Brienne. We see it in that prison moment crystallized.
The visit of Oberyn I loved because it draws out the parallels of these two characters who share plenty in common while their paths have been significantly different. The power and emotional weight of how that scene built itself so simply and quietly only to punch you in the gut with Oberyn’s declaration and the utter relief of Tyrion. It was spectacular and when this is all said and done can we just have a road trip that is filmed with Peter and Pedro? I would watch that endlessly.
I dont often get super emotional while watching TV, but there is one thing that will usually get me, and that is when a character gets the recognition they deserve. Us as viewers get to see all the noble ways in which Tyrion has acted over the past few seasons, but vary rarely do the other characters on the show see what he has done, let alone appreciate him for anything. So this scene definitely had me tearing up.
I also really loved the scene with Bronn. You could tell a part of him did want to help, but its ultimately not who he is, and I loved that Tyrion, no matter how much he wanted things to be different, couldnt hate Bronn for it.
Shauna that is so true. We watch and invest in a way that is outside the show’s universe so to have that character come into the light in that fictional space really is powerful.
Pingback: The Best Thing I Saw on TV This Week (5/18-5/25) | Nerdy Girl Notes